BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
A SINGAPOREAN investor Ramason Bupedra allegedly lost his investment worth US$517 000 after his Zimbabwean business partner fraudulently changed the shareholding structure before selling their mining company’s assets using a fake writ of execution.
Bupedra through his lawyers, Augustine Borerwe and David Ngwerume yesterday successfully applied for an interdict, stopping his partner Fredrick Utsiwegota, who is allegedly on the run, from further selling assets belonging to Decade Mining (Pvt) Limited.
High Court judge Justice Clement Phiri yesterday granted the interdict order, stopping further sale of the assets.
The court heard that Utsiwegota had sold several assets which include mining stamp mills valued at US$81 000, generators valued US$25 000, vehicles valued US$102 000, motor bikes, water pumps and electric motors worth thousands of dollars.
According to Bupedra, he formed Decade Mining in 2012 together with Utsiwegota and David Barnett Silver, whose whereabouts is unknown. On June 27, 2013, due to differences among the directors, Silver was barred by the High Court from acting as a director.
The company went on to acquire several assets that included trucks, mills, generators, compressors and water pumps.
In July that same year, Bupedra left Zimbabwe for Singapore to attend to other business interests, leaving Utsiwegota in charge of their gold mill in Shamva.
During Bupedra’s absence, Utsiwegota would send him messages, urging him not to come back, claiming their mining business was facing political interference and that his life would be in danger.
Out of fear, Bupedra stayed away and only returned to the country in February 2018, following a change of government.
On his return, Utsiwegota allegedly told him that he had done a share swap deal with Silver and now owned 76%.
Bupedra went to teh Registrar of Companies to verify the purported change, but the company file could not be located.
Bupedra then went to the company premises and discovered that several assets had been sold. On enquiring, Bupedra was told that a fraudulent company called Utsi Mining Syndicate, purportedly owned by Utsiwegota’s brother, Emmanuel obtained an order against Decade Mining Company under a High Court matter which he did not know.
The Singaporean then went back to the Registrar of Companies to verify the Utsi Mining Syndicate shareholding and found out that the registration number used at the High Court was for a company called Dual Holdings whose directors are Denford Juru and Monalisa Chipatiso.
That is when he discovered that he had been duped by Utsiwegota and his brother Emmanuel using a non-existent company to fraudulently obtain a court order aimed at stripping Decade Mining of its assets.